Balancing privacy and occupational safety and health in construction: A blockchain-enabled P-OSH deployment framework

Jinying Xu, Weisheng Lu, Liupengfei Wu, Jinfeng Lou, Xiao Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


It is an unfortunate fact that, in pursuing occupational safety and health (OSH), privacy as a core value is often traded away. Blockchain technology has unexplored potential in tackling this dilemma through its cryptography, decentralization, and consensus mechanisms. This research aims to develop a blockchain-enabled framework to balance privacy protection and advancement of OSH management by focusing on the construction industry. It does so by adopting design science research as the overall methodology, under which specific methods such as literature review, industrial engagement, brainstorming, cross-sectoral learning, case study, and prototyping and experiment are organized. Underpinning the framework is the principle that personal privacy data should be encrypted, classified, and safeguarded in decentralized repositories while non-sensitive safety behavior data should be readily accessible to enable OSH management. Based on the principle, a blockchain-enabled deployment framework of privacy protection in OSH management named P-OSH is proposed. Its functional layers and protocols are elaborated. Through a series of prototyping and experiments in a modular construction project case study, it is found out that the framework, with proper deployment, can be developed into an operable P-OSH system to minimize the risk of infringing workers’ privacy without undermining OSH management. The major contributions of this research are: (a) highlighting the importance of privacy protection while pursuing OSH excellence; (b) devising an information channeling mechanism; and (c) developing a deployable P-OSH framework. The research lays a steppingstone for further studies and practical explorations that apply blockchain technology in OSH management without sacrificing privacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105860
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Blockchain
  • Consortium blockchain framework
  • Construction worker
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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